Tillietudlem Nature Reserve
Midlands Meander Accommodation
Tillietudlem Nature Reserve is a 2000 ha nature reserve situated in the most scenic part of the Midlands Meander. Its main function is to protect one of the most threatened eco-systems in Africa – the mountain mist-belt grasslands. More than 60% of all grassland biomes have already been modified, mostly under forestry or arable agriculture. As a result, only 2.2% of the South Africa’s mountain mist-belt grassland biome remains under formal conservation. This is despite it being one of the richest and most diverse habitats in the world.
A visit to Tillietudlem Nature Reserve will expose you to much of this biodiversity should you take even a short walk in the open grassland or indigenous forests. You cannot help stumble across many of nature’s treasures here, from the largest of all antelope species, the gracious Eland, to the delicate wild flora found along the banks of the streams.
Tillietudlem hosts most of the wild game that would have occurred in this area naturally, and it is managed to optimize the variety and well-being of all species. As a result, the reserve is home to strong populations of the following:
- Blue wildebeest
- Grey rhebuck
- Common reedbuck
- Mountain reedbuck
- Grey duiker
- Oribi (Conservation status: Vulnerable)
Due to the diversity of habitats, Tillietudlem Nature Reserve is a declared IBA (Important Bird and Biodiversity Area) with a number of rare, protected or endangered birds like:
- Blue crane (Vulnerable)
- Crowned crane (Vulnerable)
- Wattled crane (Vulnerable)
- Yellow-breasted pipit (Vulnerable)
- Cape parrot (Vulnerable/Endangered)
- Blue swallow (Critically Endangered)
- Secretary bird (resident nesting pair)
- Fish eagle (resident nesting pair)
- Ground hornbill
- Orange-throated long claw
- Buff-streaked chat
- Five species of kingfisher
- Serval (rare)
- Small spotted genet
- Black-backed jackal
- Spotted-necked otter
- Cape clawless otter
- Natal red rock rabbit (Vulnerable)
- Vervet monkey
- Chacma baboon.
Tillietudlem is a veritable treasure trove for the botanist and acclaimed as hosting one of the richest and most diverse flora sanctuaries in the world. Therefore, even the casual walker will be enthralled with the variety of wild flowers that abound the grasslands, river banks and wetlands. Every season seems to introduce a new set of blooms, making a visit at any time of the year a pleasure.
In addition to wildlife, the reserve also boasts with a beautiful registered herd of indigenous Nguni cattle. These beautifully marked animals are free roaming and are used to simulate the movement of massive herds of game that migrated through this area. The reserve also has a stable with 6 horses which are used for anti-poaching and fence patrols.
The owner and staff of Tillietudlem Nature Reserve are passionately committed to conserving this sensitive area and it’s vulnerable and endangered species.
We invite you to visit us and share in the privilege of experiencing this remarkable environment with us.